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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if anyone has used vinyl lettering for decals. I will need some custom decal work for my Polar Express and since my wife has a cricut, thought I might be able to use that. It's HO, so it won't be microscopic, but it will be a little harder to paint free hand.

Please let me know some of the pros and cons if you have used them.

Another thought I has was to find some printable decal paper and then just do everything in Photoshop and print it out.

Thoughts?
 

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I used vinyl to make some masks for graffiti on a BN box car. It is possible to get the small lettering. The quality just depends on the machine being used, the condition of the blade, and the material being used. I use 651 oracal for all my vinyl jobs. Depending on the color of your decals printing on decal paper would probably be the best bet.
 

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What is a cricut?:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What is a cricut?:confused:

A Cricut is a machine that can be used to cut out very detailed images. Think of it as a printer that instead of putting ink on the paper, it cuts it out. She does vinyl letters on the wall for decoration, so I thought I would see if anyone had tried it on trains.
 

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I would think that the vinyl would be too thick for smaller scaled trains. Instead of a smoothe finish, it would be ridged due to the lettering.

But, if it works, then why not?
 

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Vinyl is generally 2.5 - 2.7 mils thick. Typically speaking there should be almost no shoulder (ridge between decal and surface applied too) once it's applied. I'm going to try some things out this weekend. I'll post up the results when I get it done.
 

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A Cricut is a machine that can be used to cut out very detailed images. Think of it as a printer that instead of putting ink on the paper, it cuts it out. She does vinyl letters on the wall for decoration, so I thought I would see if anyone had tried it on trains.

I will have to research that, first time I ever heard of it.:eek:
 

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They look nice, a couple of hundred bucks?

Don't need a computer to use it too.

I guess to own one you would have to have a lot of uses for it to justify the price tag.

Nice though.:D:thumbsup:
 

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Vinyl is usually way too thick, if you try and put a vinyl decal over a rivet or curve it will bubble and not mold to the surface. Decals have the ability to mold and melt into the surface and make it like it was "painted" on.
 

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Well now, something I have some expertise at, I worked for Gerber for years (Gerber invented vinyl cutters)

I have used vinyl for ho decals over the years for trains for my kid or for a mask, but can tell you for a fact that even if you use the 2 mil 3m conformable vinyl, (called CV3) it is still way too thick for HO. It looks ....well, passible on non craftsman looking garden stuff.

Just fyi, many railroads spec'd 3m product on a lot of their signage, but a lot of them did not use it on trains as they preferred to use what was called cut mask (essentially, cutting on a vinyl cutter, removing the letters and using the outside "leftover" as a spray mask.

I still sell vinyl cutters and printers for a living, (www.theequipmentguy.com) <~~~ shameless plug :) I would love to sell each member one at a great discount, but really, I buy decals and paint, and I have access to hundred thousand dollar machines and have about 10 miles of vinyl in my warehouse, lol.

Craig
 

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Ok dablaze my order,
2 sets of Vinyl stickers "Caution K9 / Wolf" in Danger Red!:eek:
2 8" Wide Dark purple rally stripes for the wifes ride!:D
 

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Maybe if you could create vinyl stencils, like the prototypes did, it would come in handy for airbrushing?
 

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Heck dablaze there is nothing wrong with promoting your site.
Who knows maybe someone here is looking for something. They just might own a factory.

I looked quickly and couldn't find a cricut machine, though I did see a whole bunch of others.
Some have a huge price tag!
Send me a couple of those flatbeds.:laugh:

Why don't you set your link up in your signature, like I said you never know maybe someone here will buy one. Not a shameless plug, throw it in your signature.:smokin::thumbsup:

Heck a lot here join just to sell something, they don't even participate in the forum part of the site.
Some do participate in the forum, but a lot don't, I think they just use the site for free, (fee free) advertising.
Which I don't mind as I might see something I like.
Though I am cautious of buying from them because I don't "know" them. ;)
Compared to having a dialect through the forum with them as you get to know someone a little that way.
 

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Thanks guys!

The Cricut is a good machine for a hobbiest, but there is a huge bias against them in the graphics industry, as a distributor you can almost be blacklisted for selling them if you try and sell to larger shops. Personally, I believe in buying the right tool that fits your needs. The flatbed routers are very cool, fun even! One of my suppliers once built a CNC machine that had to accommodate the size of a railcar side, although he did not know any more about what the purpose was.

I will add my URL to my siggy soon!

Hold'er Newt, I have done exactly that, cut stencils to do a set of Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Bachmann passenger cars in large scale. Was very pleased with the results!

Sean, I am actually setting up the perfect machine for those items next week, lol!

Craig
 

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I like my 24" Graphtec. I'm not a full blown operation, I just mainly do small runs for people that go to the bigger shops that want an arm, leg, and first born to do a job. I'd really like to step up my machine, but 2k+ just isn't happening right now.

I cut a stencil out of vinyl and did this graffiti. It was hastily put together. But the effect is good I feel.

 

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The Cricut is a good machine i used it for my rc plane to add decals on the it works great,but you have to get more then one cartrige for deferint thing and size
 
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